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How To Make Shredded Coconut From Scratch

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Learn How To Make Shredded Coconut From Scratch in the comfort of your home in just a few minutes. Desiccated Coconut is excellent to have in your pantry at all times to use whenever you wish to, as it is fully low-carb, keto, gluten-free, grain-free, and great for people with diabetes

Coconut Shreds

Use it for homemade coconut milk, sprinkle on top of keto coconut ice cream or chocolate fudge brownies, or roast to prepare sugar-free sprinkles for any occasion. The uses are endless, and you will be happy to learn how to make fresh shredded coconut from a complete scratch super easy.

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Desiccated coconut recipes

Having a grated coconut at home is great as it is a perfect additional ingredient in our lifestyle to make various recipes with. They are added into granolas for that perfect crunch.

You can use them to prepare homemade coconut milk in seconds and get right into the preparation of Coconut Ice Cream for the whole family. 

Our Nut-Free Keto Cheesecake base can not be without it, as it gives you that delicious, unforgettable taste everyone wants. 

But my favorite is making Sugar-Free Keto Sprinkles, which I use to decorate anything I bake during holidays. Pick your favorite colors, combine them to fit the holiday theme, and have a perfect dessert for Christmas, Valentine’s, Halloween, the 4th of July, St. Patrick’s, and much more. 

Perfect for decorating gingerbread village.

Why should I make desiccated coconut?

Making a desiccated coconut from a complete scratch using fresh coconuts will change your way in keto, low-carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, and grain-free baking. 

  • gives you instant fresh coconuts to use
  • adds the flavor you will not get from store-bought packages
  • has multi-uses in your keto kitchen pantry
  • is extremely delicious
  • adds into your healthy lifestyle
  • make it and store it for a very long time
  • and so I can go on and on

Once you buy a few whole coconuts, you can make so many homemade goodies. And those grated coconuts are just one part of it.

Fresh coconuts with shredded on a white tray with flower in the background
Desiccated coconut inside a coconut bowl

Is shredded coconut Keto-friendly?

Yes, shredded or desiccated coconut is one of the best and the most popular ingredients to prepare keto or low-carb dishes. You can use them on various occasions for cooking, baking, making coconut milk out of them, ice creams, cupcakes, healthy birthday cakes, and mixing with breakfast cereals. The imaginations are endless.

The difference between shredded vs desiccated coconut

For some, the difference might not be so clear. Desiccated coconut is finely shredded coconut compared to shredded, which is a thin strip of coconut meat. 

They both are dried, but because of the stripes, shredded coconut contains a bit more moisture when eaten.

How to turn a shredded coconut into desiccated?

A simple trick of placing your grated dry coconut strips into a magic bullet of coffee grinder will transform them into perfectly uniformed desiccated coconuts you can use.

How to make Shredded Coconut from scratch?

Kitchen Gadgets needed:

  • Meat Tenderizer
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cheese Shredder
  • Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients needed:

  • Fresh Coconut
  • Water

*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.


Desiccated Coconut Recipe.
Grated Coconut

First Step: Break the coconut

Using a heavy meat tenderizer or hammer, hit heavy through the middle of the coconut, turning it slowly until the coconut starts cracking. Drain the water and crack open the shells.

Breaking the desiccated coconut
Breaking fresh coconut

Second Step: Cut the meat

With a sharp knife, cut through the coconut meat vertically and diagonally to help to remove the meat from the coconut shelves. If the coconut is drier, it goes much easier. But if you have a fresh coconut, some labor might be needed.

Cutting the coconut meat with a knife
Cleaning the coconut meat

Third Step: Peel the meat

With the help of a strong knife, try to release the coconut meat first from the side of the coconut shells, pulling outwards. The most difficult part is the first part, and then the rest is pretty easy to remove. Have a look at the video for a better understanding.

Removing coconut meat out of coconut shells
Breaking the coconut meat

Fourth Step: Clean the skin

With a vegetable peeler, clean the brown layer of the coconut meat thoroughly. I would suggest washing the coconut pieces for you to get the white coconut shreds.

Cleaning outer layer of coconut meat
Cleaning the skin of a coconut

Fifth Step: Shred the coconut

With a mandolin or a hand grater, grate the coconut into shreds. Depending on the size of the shreds you want, use the specific grater. I usually grate it on the bigger grater if I want to use the coconut shreds for our Homemade Sugar-Free Keto Sprinkles.

If you want to make a huge batch of desiccated coconut from more coconuts, you can shred the meat in a Magic Bullet, Vitamix, or a food processor for easier handling.

Shredding coconut pieces
Desiccating coconut shreds

Sixth Step: Bake

Before you bake them, you can use the shreds for making Coconut Milk, as I mentioned above. This will make the desiccated a bit moist.

But not a problem at all. Just let it in the oven for a bit longer. In the end, you are drying the shreds and not roasting them. Set the oven to a low temperature and bake slowly.

Make sure to check at least twice the oven and mix the shreds since the top of the desiccated coconuts gets dried faster, but under, you would still get the moist coconuts.

baking shredded coconut

Tips and Tricks:

  • Bigger batch – using Magic Bullet, Vitamix, or a food processor for grinding
  • Drying – use oven, heater, Dehydrator or sun-drying
  • Baking – single layer to make sure everything is dried evenly
  • Rehydrate – soak in the water


How do you dry coconut naturally?

If it is summer and the weather outside is pretty dry, you can leave them dry naturally. Place the fresh shredded coconuts on a newspaper and cover them with some mesh to keep the bugs away. Place it in your garden in a shady area.

Do not place them in the direct sun. Otherwise, they will become brown.

If you have winter right now, I like to keep them on a heater.

Just cover the baking sheet with parchment paper and let them dry naturally. A baking tray will make sure the dryness gets evenly spread. Here make sure the heater is not switched on full blast. Otherwise, your dried coconut meat will burn.

Can you dehydrate homemade grated coconut?

You can certainly use the dehydrator for drying your grated coconuts. In the end, you are drying them at a very low temperature in the oven as well. So this will be very similar.

You will still have to either change the plates from time to time or just remix them so they all get perfectly dry.

And the positive side? You do not have to be afraid of burning them, which sometimes happens in the oven. 

homemade coconut shreds inside the coconut shells.
Coconut shredded

How to rehydrate coconut shreds?

You can use two ways to rehydrate grated coconut.

1. Soak them in the water for half an hour to an hour, then lay them on a clean towel for the remaining water to dry.

2. Use a steamer to steam the desiccated to retain their moisture and bring them back to life as if you have just made them fresh.

How to make coconut shreds sweet?

Before placing them into the oven, you can sweeten them with your favorite sweetener. I like to sweeten the water in a small bowl, in which I would then soak the coconut shreds. Make sure you mix them properly. That way, the grated coconut will get an equal amount of sweetness.

After thoroughly mixing, place the shreds onto the muslin cloth and squeeze the remaining water. This will save you lots of time while baking or drying.

Coconut shreds with a linen napkin
Do it from scratch coconut shreds

How to use unsweetened coconut shreds?

You can make homemade coconut milk, add them to granola, sprinkle it on top of keto coconut ice cream or chocolate fudge brownies, or roast them to prepare sugar-free sprinkles

You can also blend them in a mixer and make your coconut flour. You can learn more on almond flour vs. coconut flour.

How to store desiccated coconut?

Make sure the desiccated coconut is completely dry and crispy. It should last for 5-6 months. Store them in an airtight container.

I usually keep them in a Mason Jar, which stays on our kitchen counter. That way, they can be used all the time.

You can also place them in the refrigerator or a freezer.

Can shredded coconut be frozen?

This is one of the options; by freezing them, you will retain the freshness for much longer.

I must mention that once taken out of the freezer for future use, they will become soggy. But placing them back into the oven for a while will make them crispy.

Can shredded coconut go bad?

Your grated coconut can go bad if too moist or not stored properly. Especially if you have not dried the grated coconuts. Check this before storing them.

For that reason, I always make sure to dry only the amount I will use in the next month or so.

Recipes to use Shredded Coconut for:

Pin For Later:

Coconut shreds in a coconut bowl
Homemade Coconut Shreds

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Homemade Coconut Shreds in a real coconut shells

How To Make Shredded Coconut From Scratch

Zuzana Paar
4.85 from 19 votes
Learn How To Make Shredded Coconut From Scratch in the comfort of your home in just a few minutes. Desiccated Coconut is excellent to have in your pantry at all times to use whenever you wish to, as it is fully low-carb, keto, gluten-free, grain-free, and great for people with diabetes.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Recipes
Cuisine International
Servings 2 cups
Calories 159 kcal


  • 2 Fresh Whole Coconuts
  • Water to Clean


  • Preheat oven to 70 Celsius (150 Fahrenheit) With a hammer, break the coconut until cracks.
  • Drain the water into a separate bowl and open the coconut
  • With a hard and sharp knife cut the meat diagonally and vertically and take out the inside meat out of the coconut shell
  • With a vegetable peeler peel the outer dark skin from the meat. Wash the pieces to get the nice and white shreds.
  • Using a mandolin or a hand grater to shred the coconut pieces
  • Spread on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Make sure you mix the shreds in between to get all of the moisture out and dry them fully.
  • Switch off the oven and let them cool inside to achieve better crunchiness.
  • Store in an air-tight container and enjoy.



  • Bigger batch – using Magic Bullet, Vitamix, or a food processor for grinding
  • Drying – use oven, heater, Dehydrator or sun-drying
  • Baking – single layer to make sure everything is dried evenly
  • Rehydrate – soak in the water


Serving: 1TbspCalories: 159kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 2gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 9mgPotassium: 160mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg


Please note that nutrient values are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Last Updated: September 13, 2022

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By Zuzana Paar on September 13th, 2022
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About Zuzana Paar

Zuzana is the creative force behind this vibrant blog. With passion as a recipe developer, content creator, food writer, movie maker, and photographer, she poured her heart and soul into curating a space brimming with delightful keto and low carb recipes. Join her on this flavorful journey where quick, easy-to-make dishes take center stage, bringing joy and nourishment to your table.

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26 Comments on “How To Make Shredded Coconut From Scratch”

  1. Thank you for this post! I’ve been spending too much money on store-bought shredded coconut so its good to know how to make it at home!


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